[Content of lead, cadmium, mercury, zinc and copper in fruit from various regions of Poland]

Rocz Panstw Zakl Hig. 1995;46(3):223-38.
[Article in Polish]


The content of lead, cadmium, mercury, zinc and copper was determined in various species of fruit gathered in Poland in the period 1989-1991. Samples for the determinations were taken from regions not directly exposed to air pollution from industrial plants and traffic. The content of Pb, Cd, Zn and Cu was determined after dry mineralization (at about 400 degrees C) by the flame ASA technique: Cu and Zn were determined directly in mineralizate solution, Pb and Cd after extraction of their complexes with APDC; Hg after wet mineralization by flameless ASA "cold vapour" method. About 10000 samples of fruit and about 300 samples of soil from the sites where the fruit was collected were investigated. The highest lead levels were found in strawberries, raspberries and currants (about 0.1 mg/kg on average), cadmium in raspberries and strawberries (mean 0.02 mg/kg). Mercury, zinc and copper levels were low. The levels of all these metals were lowest in apples and pears (Pb-mean 0.010-0.089 mg/kg, Cd mean 0.001-0.006 mg/kg, Cd mean 0.001-0.006 mg/kg). The content of metals in fruit, but ever more in soil, from highly industrialized areas was significantly higher. The authors suggest lowering in the Polish legislation of the maximal acceptable lead concentration in all types of fruit down to 0.20 mg/kg, and cadmium to 0.03 mg/kg for all types of berries and 0.02 mg/kg for the remaining fruit types.

MeSH terms

  • Cadmium / analysis
  • Copper / analysis
  • Environmental Pollution / adverse effects*
  • Food Contamination / analysis*
  • Fruit / chemistry*
  • Industry
  • Lead / analysis
  • Mercury / analysis
  • Metals / analysis*
  • Poland
  • Soil / analysis
  • Zinc / analysis


  • Metals
  • Soil
  • Cadmium
  • Lead
  • Copper
  • Mercury
  • Zinc